In a joint press conference Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn announced that the Legislature is hiring a firm to look into how public education is funded in Mississippi.

New Jersey based EdBuild has been contracted to take a look at whether the Mississippi Adequate Education Program (MAEP) is the right formula to fund schools.

The move comes after years of criticism of the funding formula from lawmakers and a statewide referendum in 2015 called Proposition 42, which called for the Legislature to fully fund MAEP.

Gunn says a foundation affiliated with EdBuild will pay for half of the $250,000 study and the state will pick up the other half.

Public meetings on the study will be announced later.

Details of how legislative leaders chose EdBuild are still cloudy.

Mississippi Today requested a copy of the contract both informally and following the procedures in the state’s open-records law.

According to Gunn, the EdBuild contract did not go through a bidding process, but it’s not necessary for a contract commissioned by the Legislature under state law.

We do know that the contract was approved Tuesday morning in Senate Rules Committee and House Management Committee meetings.

Also, the teacher caught on camera dragging a special needs student across the gym floor at Greenville High School may have her teaching license revoked or suspended.

Since the video surfaced, Linda Johnson has been fired and Greenville School District Superintendent Leeson Taylor has been placed on paid leave.

Mississippi Department of Education plans to have a hearing to decide what to do about Johnson’s teaching license on November 4th.

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